Difference Between Tomato Paste and Puree

Tomato Paste vs Puree

In fact, there are many who cannot differentiate between tomato paste and puree, and do not know how to proceed if the recipe calls for puree and all they have in the kitchen is tomato paste. This article intends to highlight the differences between the two products made of the same ingredient tomato, to enable readers to use one or the other for their purpose.

Tomato Paste

As the name implies, this is a paste of crushed tomatoes that has been cooked for long and then strained to leave a thick paste devoid of seeds. Tomato paste has a great consistency, but no added ingredients. It is very thick and a sweet taste. Ripe tomatoes are cooked and then strained and then cooked again to leave a very thick paste behind. It is so thick that if you take out a spoonful, it retains its shape when placed in a bowl.

Tomato Puree

When tomatoes are not cooked for long and strained quickly, we get tomato puree, which is a liquid that is not as thick as tomato paste. Puree can have salt and spices added, or it may be bland like tomato paste.

Both tomato paste and tomato puree have a place in a kitchen and both come in canned form. Both are used to add texture and flavor to a number of recipes though used in a different manner and varying quantities. One should not use a big amount of tomato paste in a recipe as it is highly concentrated. In fact, if the recipe calls for tomato puree and you have paste in the kitchen, take one third cup tomato paste and add water to fill the cup to get a cup of tomato puree.

Tomato sauce is another variant; though it is thinner than even puree with salt, sugar, corn syrup and spices added to make it flavored.


What is the difference between Tomato Paste and Puree?

• The main difference between tomato paste and tomato puree is that of natural tomato soluble solids (NTSS), with USDA specifying a tomato puree to contain 8-23.9% NTSS, whereas tomato paste must have minimum 24% NTSS.

• Tomato paste is cooked for long and then strained and then again cooked and strained. On the other hand, puree is cooked for s small time and then strained.

• Tomato paste is much thicker than puree; hence, to use paste in place of puree, only 1/3rd quantity of tomato paste would do in a recipe.